Student Resources

Student Awards

The Pamela and Kenneth Fong Graduate Student Fellowship

2016-17 Fellowship Recipients

Allegra Midgette is a third year doctoral student in Human Development and Education at UC Berkeley. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A in Education (Human Development) with honors, Magna Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa.Prior to attending Berkeley, Allegra was involved in researching Chinese teachers’ beliefs about teaching and moral education, American students’ moral psychology, and teachers’ beliefs about whether morality should be taught at home or at school. She is currently engaged in studying how cultural practices affect children’s social and moral development.

Project description:
Gender Prejudice Development in China and the United States
Allegra’s research asks why do men grow up to accept and participate in cultural practices that subordinate and are unfair to women and why do men either accept or reject these practices. While historically China has been just as patriarchal as other countries throughout the centuries, China is a place that in the last century has had staggering changes take place, including the role and recognition of women. While women were more than encouraged to join the work force during the revolutionary period and the following economic opening of China led by Deng Xiaoping, patriarchal practices still remained. One leading example is the case of the single child policy which until recently led to female infanticide, abortion, and abandonment. As a result of this practice China now has one of the greatest imbalances of male to female ratio, with for every 100 females there are 110 males. Meanwhile, other research has suggested that the one child policy has led parents in urban centers to push their girls to fight for greater equal rights, since they will have to rely on their daughters to support them during their old age. Present China is a unique context with various forces and cultural practices encouraging and at the same time dismissing and fighting against unequal treatment of women. Therefore, Allegra will study gender prejudice development in China and then compare the findings with findings in the United States. She will be looking at how cultural context and practices affect children’s development of prejudice.

Juliet Nadeau Lu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Her undergraduate degree is from Oberlin College with a double-major in East Asian Studies and Politics.

Project description:
Tapping into Rubber: Chinese Investments, Social Welfare, and Local Food Security in Laos
In the early 2000s, the Chinese and Lao governments heralded rubber cultivation as a silver bullet for rural development in Laos. Income from growing rubber trees was expected to raise living standards, improve access to state services (health care, water, electricity), and provide an alternative for poor farmers to cultivating opium illicitly. Seeing rubber as a form of “development cooperation” with Laos, the Chinese state provided significant financial and bureaucratic support to many Chinese rubber investors establishing plantations in Laos and vast areas of land were transformed from traditional land uses to monoculture rubber plantations. But global rubber prices plummeted in 2011, making rubber unprofitable and dashing optimism about the crop as a tool for development in Laos. Already, resource access, livelihoods, and rural agricultural production throughout northern Laos have been irreversibly changed. Thus while Lao farmers have come to rely greatly on Chinese rubber plantations and the Chinese rubber market broadly, they need coping strategies in this period of price depression and beyond for maintaining food security, social welfare and livelihoods.

Juliet’s doctoral dissertation explores the impacts of Chinese rubber investments on Lao farmers in northern Laos, and their strategies for maintaining food security, social welfare and livelihoods. She will conduct an extensive study of Chinese investors and various rubber farmers — Chinese and Lao — through field work in Yunnan Province, China and Luang Namtha, Laos. She has lived and carried out past research in both countries, has strong language skills and Mandarin and Lao, and maintains strong connections to local collaborators in Chinese and Lao civil society, government, and development organizations where she works.

In previous years the Fong Fellowship supported:

Jenna HuaHsin-Tien (Tiffany) Tsai, Ph.D candidate, Department of Economics
Juliet Nadeau Lu, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Bios and project descriptions at: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/ccs/awards_fong_2015-16.html

Jenna Hua, Ph.D candidate, School of Public Health
Peiting C. Li, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History
Bios and project descriptions at: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/ccs/awards_fong_2014-15.html

Carol Peng, Ph.D candidate, School of Social Welfare
Alexsia T. Chan, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science
Bios and project descriptions at: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/ccs/awards_fong_2013-14.html

Liang Bai, Ph.D. candidate, Economics
Anna Zimmermann, M.S. candidate, Department of Global Health and Environment
Bios and project descriptions at: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/ccs/awards_fong_2012-13.html

Lijia Xie is a M.S./M.D. candidate, UC Berkeley–UCSF Joint Medical Program
Guojun He, Ph.D. student, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Bios and project descriptions at: http://ieas.berkeley.edu/ccs/awards_fong_2011-12.html